Quite a few breakout performances in Week 4 have led to interesting decisions on the Waiver Wire leading into Week 5. Other player opportunities have come through injury as well, unfortunately. I’m looking at you, Tyler Eifert. Ouch.
As you may or may not notice, I am not Tim Torch. He was unavailable this week, so I will be pinch-hitting for him. So, without much fanfare, let’s dig right into the priority pickups at each position for Week 5 in fantasy football. If you have any questions you can reach out to me on Twitter @MattWi77iams.
Priority Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 5
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
The only reason Bortles is listed above Marcus Mariote is simple. The Kansas City Chiefs. Yes indeed, the Jaguars passing attack gets the opportunity to light up the sky this weekend with a matchup with one of the leagues worst passing defenses on the horizon. To be fair, the Chiefs pass defense has been a little better as of late, but the game script should still allow for a favorable stat line.
Bortles exploded for 388 yards and two passing touchdowns against the Jets in Week 4, with Leonard Fournette on the bench early with an injury. Fournette is almost certainly going to be on the shelf for this matchup, andT.J. Yeldon does a lot of his damage in the pass-catching game. Look for another big-time performance out of the Jaguars quarterback.
Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans
If you failed to watch the Titans game, (which if you are not a Titans or Eagles fan, you did) then you missed a chance to see a seemingly healthy Marcus Maritoa lead his team to a victory. Passing for 344 yards and two touchdowns, the Titans quarterback looked like his old self in this one.
It was also great to see Mariota show off his wheels a bit, adding 46 yards and TD on the ground. All in all, Maria looks like he is ready to deliver on his promise this season with Corey Davis on board. He draws the Bills in Week 5.
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) September 30, 2018
T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars
I was going to leave Yeldon out because he is already owned in most leagues. BUT, if he is somehow available in yours, make him your number one priority here.
Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts
Hines cannot be counted on as much as a ball carrier in Indy, at least not yet. However, he can be very useful in PPR leagues as he starts to gain the trust of Andrew Luck in the passing game. He caught two TDs in Week 4 and has caught 22 of his 26 targets this season, which should go a long way in getting into the good graces of the captain.
Hines is an explosive runner that has only been given the opportunity to shine in short yardage. But, he has another gear fantasy owners have yet to see and is very capable of breaking off a huge touchdown run.
The time to get Hines was last week, but if you failed to do so, now is your last chance.
Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I am not expecting a great deal out of the rookie immediately. He had a rough preseason and is unlikely to be startable right now. However, he had a couple of promising athletic looks in Week 4 that show just how superior to Peyton Barber he can be.
The main thing here is that he is an explosive running back that is very likely to see opportunities going forward. Jones will cost you next to nothing on waivers due to his lack of a role and Tampa Bay BYE week coming up. No promises, no expectations. Just a guy who could be a starting running back and that is valuable enough to stash if you are in need.
Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
The big issue here? Carlos Hyde is the starting running back of the Browns. We all know this. Hyde is also doing a great job. So why pick up Nick Chubb?
Well, I admit that the above options are more likely to “help” you in the immediate future. Hines is certainly the better cal if you need production right now. However, Chubb is averaging 34.3 yards-per-carry. This is obviously not a thing that will continue but speaks to the extreme explosiveness of the rookie.
If Carlos Hyde were to go down, Chubb would be an immediate RB1 with a fantastic ceiling. If you can afford the roster spot, Chubb needs to occupy it.
DeDe Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars
It’s hard to trust the Jacksonville passing game. Blake Bortles is very volatile and there is not clear-cut WR1 on the team. No, not even Keelan Cole. It’s Donte Moncrief who leads the team in air yards, by a significant amount. But who leads the team in the primary wideout categories? DeDe Westbrook, not Cole or Moncrief.
The sophomore wide receiver leads the Jaguars in targets (28), receptions (21), and receiving yards (294). In Week 4 Westbrook was able to turn 13 targets into nine catches and 130 yards.
By the way, Jacksonville plays Kansas City in Week 5. Pick him up.
Keke Coutee, Houston Texans
We are going to start this off by listing the NFL WR leaders in wOPR (weighted opportunity):
- Julio Jones
- Corey Davis
- Odell Beckham Jr.
- DeAndre Hopkins
- Adam Theilen
- Jarvis Landry
- Antonio Brown
- KEKE COUTEE
- Mike Evans
- Robert Woods
One of these things is not like the other.
Granted, it was the rookies first game after missing Week’s 1-3 with a hamstring injury. Still, he caught 11 of his 15 targets for 109 yards on a team likely to have a decent passing game script going forward.
#Texans WR Keke Coutee has set a franchise record for the most receptions (seven) by a player in his NFL debut, passing Andre Johnson’s six receptions in Week 1 of 2003 #HOUvsIND pic.twitter.com/o6nHU3unhq
— Texans PR (@TexansPR) September 30, 2018
The uncertainty of Will Fuller’s own hamstring injury makes the Coutee pickup all the more attractive. But, the bottom line here is that KeKe Coutee is a very fast runner who should be a shiny new toy for DeShaun Watson, a quarterback who loves to air it out.
Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh Steelers
Following last Monday night’s breakout performance, McDonald tallied 62 yards against the Ravens on Sunday. He gets the lowly Falcons secondary in Week 5, making McDonald a top-10 option this week.
Hayden Hurst, Baltimore Ravens
There is a very good chance Hayden Hurst makes his NFL debut this week against the Browns, a team that was just torched by Jared Cook in Week 4. Hurst looked like the TE1 in Ravens training camp and the Joe Flacco led passing attack has looked impressive so far in 2018.
To be honest, this is more of a stash than a start. But, if Hurst can establish himself in the Ravens passing game, you could be looking at a weekly starter. Grab him now.